How does Charlestonia or Steeltownia sound? Because the whole livability bug notably biting cities such as Portland has gotten bigger via the proliferation of dedicated bikeways in a number of US cities. The latest to join are Pittsburgh, PA and Charleston, SC, Treehugger most happily reports.

Pittsburgh has taken a quarter-mile chunk of "structurally unsound" road that cars used for a shortcut through Schenley Park, blocked it off from car traffic, repaved it, repainted it as two bike lines and even included a pedestrian pathway. The city also added LED lighting for good measure. Meanwhile, Charleston is pulling one vehicle lane of Legare Bridge out of circulation and rededicating it exclusively for bike and pedestrian use.

Granted, many recent reports have come out saying we Americans have driven our way past peak car ownership and that the percentage of adults with drivers' licenses is at a 30-year low, so this kind of readjustment of who has priority on the roads is to be expected. Until now, the cities that usually lead the lists of smallest percentage of car-ownership are New York City and San Francisco, with San Francisco, Denver and, yes, Portland leading the way when it comes to the largest numbers of biking commuters. So the two-wheeled migration to western Pennsylvania and South Carolina may be a refreshing one, but we doubt it will be the last.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Months Ago
      "a quarter-mile chunk of "structurally unsound" road that cars used for a shortcut through Schenley Park" Oh, be still my beating heart. Let me see what that looks like on Google maps... Yeah. They put a new bike path in a park. That already had bike paths. Because nobody rides a bike to go places, they go to parks to ride bikes. I ride my bike 30km to work. This 0.6 km of bike path is an insignificant fraction of that. My own municipality is currently (and of course, quite late in finishing) paving a brand new path through an industrial zone to eliminate the no-man's-land that currently exists in a transit corridor dominated by narrow streets and heavy traffic. The length of this all-new bikeway is 4.8 km, and the city is going out of its way to create this infrastructure, instead of painting some new lines and putting up a couple of signs and patting themselves on the back like it matters. Pittsburg is doing nothing more than blowing smoke up cyclists' asses with this whitewash.
        • 8 Months Ago
        I'm pretty sure the one in Pgh includes an ancient bridge over Panther Hollow. This was taking the cheap route. Rebuilding that bridge would have been enormously expensive.
      • 8 Months Ago
      I think I know the road in Pittsburgh. I used to park there about a mile from CMU and bike the rest of the way.
      2 wheeled menace
      • 8 Months Ago
      That's cool for starters..
      • 8 Months Ago
      We got one lane, out of seven. Not really a huge victory, especially considering how bike unfriendly the roads to and from the bridge are. We're still going to need millions of dollars of improvements to make it actually work. If anyone is ever in Charleston, let me know - I'd be happy to show you around. Ask for me at the Griffon.
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